You Can Train a Goat?

One of the many things animal keepers are tasked with aside from the expected poop scooping and wall scrubbing is operant conditioning (aka “animal training”). Nearly all the animals at the museum have a primary trainer who thinks of new behaviors they’d like that animal to learn, then builds a step-by-step program to shape that behavior, and ultimately implements that program over the course of days to months (depending on the complexity and the animal’s response) until we’re at aRead more

Let’s all get weighed!

Keepers are enjoying the new scale in the farmyard, and so are the critters.  Here’s some video of Max and the alpacas getting weighed. Max’s training focused on keeping him calm as he walked from his enclosure to the scale – he tends to get excited when he goes for a walk.  And 1600 pounds of excited steer can be difficult to manage.  But look how calm he is! The alpaca training is more focused on helping them tolerate theRead more

Lemur Training Update

  The red ruffed lemurs have been off exhibit since December. We have just a couple of weeks left until it is warm enough for the ring tailed lemurs to be outside during the day and the red ruffed lemurs to move upstairs, on exhibit. Here is where we were last time I updated about training- click here. While our focus was going to be crate training we also added the behavior of station. Station is a way to 1)Read more

Red Ruffed Lemur Training

I recently mentioned we’re now working on crate training the red ruffed lemurs. It’s been quite awhile since they have worked on this behavior. The last couple days have been very successful. All three lemurs have gone all the way into their crates. 🙂 This is just the beginning so check back soon for updates.   Iris is going into the top crate at the same time that Jethys is going into the bottom crate.Read more

Ring-Tailed Lemur training update

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated and we’ve seen a lot of progress. My last post was about Cassandra exploring the vet room. We allowed her to do this once more and it went about the same as the first time. I believe the second time, she took longer to come down, seemed like she was enjoying exploring too much. Before that I wrote about crate training, which has been my biggest goal with the ring-tailed lemurs. (now it’s ourRead more

QuickPic: Goats on Spools

The bears and lemurs have stumps to learn to station with and the little goats have spools! Even Lightning, the donkey, gets into station training. Teaching “station” or “place” is a great way to get an animal to give you some breathing room when you’re training multiple animals at once.  Read more